MUSCATINE — On Thursday evening, the future of Muscatine administrator Gregg Mandsager may be decided as the Muscatine City Council will discuss whether to terminate his employment contract.
According to the agenda for the regular city council meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, the council will discuss and possibly act on ending Mandsager’s contract. The city is already looking for an interim administrator and has appointed two city employees to act as assistant administrators. The issue of ending the contract was tabled during the Nov. 7 meeting.
On Oct. 17, during council comment at the end of the regular meeting, discussion was made of a memo circulated to city employees requiring the employee to report any work-related interaction with a city council member. Previously any communications, including simply speaking to a staff member, from council members to the staff had to be done through Mandsager until the council approved an ordinance that would allow such interactions.
After the discussion, council member Kelcey Brackert requested the council consider terminating Mandsager’s contract. According to the contract, Muscatine will pay Mandsager six months severance. A simple majority of the members present on Nov. 7 — four council members if all are present — is needed to terminate the contract.
According to the city’s web site, the city administrator ensures policy decisions made by the council are executed. It is an appointed position by the city council. Mandsager, who has been the city administrator for 10 years, received a performance evaluation on his one-year contract earlier this year in which the contract was renewed and he was given a 1% pay increase. The council also authorized an outside consultant to evaluate the process used, but no report has been given yet.
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About a week after the Oct. 17 meeting, Mandsager had taken a leave through the Family Medical Leave Act, which allows him to be absent up to three months.
Over the last three years, there has been infighting among the council and Mandsager. Earlier this year, two lawsuits Mandsager and Mayor Diana Broderson had filed against the city were settled.
In June, the city agreed to pay Broderson $75,000 and Mandsager $50,000. Mandsager had filed a lawsuit against the city in November 2017 claiming Broderson was spreading lies about him. Broderson also filed suit claiming Mandsager and the council were spreading lies about her. Broderson had been removed from office by the council. The removal was vacated by a judge after Broderson argued her right to due process had been violated and that council members had an interest in her impeachment. She was re-elected mayor and began her second term in January.
During the removal process, Mandsager claimed there were many instances in which Broderson allegedly committed slander or libel against him. During this time, Broderson allegedly had said her position as mayor had been undermined by Mandsager, that he had subjected her to a hostile work environment, and that her position had been threatened due to gender discrimination. In Broderson’s countersuit, she accused city leaders of defamation.